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J-horror: Ringu Vs. The Ring


Guest seiwei

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J-horror vs. American remake
You can answer this question if you've seen both the original Ringu by Nakata Hideo and its American remake The Ring by Gore Verbinski.

What were the differences between the two movies?

We know that the supernatural is more deeply ingrained in Japanese culture then it is in American culture. How then was the Japanese movie Ringu adapted for a Western audience? What do you think were the problems faced by director Gore Verbinski when remaking a J-horror movie?

And finally, which one did you prefer? Which was scarier, creepier? Which one was harder to understand, and in which one did the story flow better?

Discuss :D (*cough*It'll help me with my paper for school*cough*)

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Guest monchichi

My 2 cents:

I think the Japanese take spiritualisation a lot more seriously than the Western Culture mainly because they don't believe in 'spirits' or just think its silly nonsense. Like, you don't see temples where you celebrate the spirits of your ancestors anywhere that's mainly western culture while in Japan you do. Neither do Westerners leave our fruit for their dead forefathers/mothers in a small altar at home o_o

That said, I think the Ring remake had taken a few scary elements from the original and 'jazzed' it up (sudden loud noises) to make it more exciting for a Western audience to make it more involving and entertaining because it'd be hard to convince them to 'believe' in the movie's original theme/central plot - a haunted/cursed video tape (which sounds really lame when you think about it but to the Japanese, Ringu is a movie with a lot of meaning and depth, i.e. a vengeful spirit of a young girl who had a troubled life).

I think the director had a lot of trouble with the pace of the movie and the audience's expectations of a horror movie (with the audience most likely being people who are just in for a quick scare rather than a scary movie with depth). The original was very slow and focused on a lot of suspense and layering of suspense that leads to a huge finale at the end. However, judging from the remake, the director probably thought the audience would be bored with that and added some flashy shock scenes accompanied by sudden loud music to keep the audience engaged and interested throughout the entire 1.5 hours.

As for my personal opinion... the original left a lasting impression on me while the remake was only a short scare? Like it only had me scared while watching the movie but I slept fine after that. However, I couldn't sleep properly for two nights after watching the original.

It's different for a lot of people though and I think it depends which one you see first. Some people tend to prefer the remake after seeing it first or vice versa.

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Guest HeffyEnd

You're doing a paper on horror movies? That's awesome. It's been a few years since I've seen Ringu so I'll do the best I can..

"Ringu" is what it is, and the remake can't take away from that. It's an extremely influential horror film that's been emulated in God knows how many horror films since it came out almost 10 years ago. I don't think Japanese cinema has been quite the same ever since it came out. We all know how important the supernatural is to Asian horror, more so than American horror. I've seen a fair share of American ghost stories, but none of them are as seemingly important to American culture as they are to Asian culture. I don't know as much about Asian culture as I do American culture, so I can't comment too much on that, but having seen hundreds of horror films, I think it's evident. Americans know how to make scary ghost movies, but Asian ghost movies feel more real and more relevant to their culture.

You can't fairly compare both films, and say which one is scarier, because it honestly depends on who you're talking to. Films are very different from each country because of the cultural differences. They're both perfect examples of the same effective, scary story, being told to two seperate cultures. In Asian culture, Ringu is scarier and it flows better, and in American culture The Ring is scarier and it flows better. Making an American version of a foreign story isn't a bad idea, it's just hard to do without making it some lame watered down Hollywood drivel (see: "Pulse"). And personally, I think "The Ring" is a great example of what a westernized remake should be. It's essentially the same story, being told to people differently so they can understand it better, while not betraying important elements in the original film/story. It stays true to the source material, it takes it self seriously and it pays off. I don't think people give Gore and co. the credit they deserve for pulling that one off. It's hard to do that, I've seen so many films try and fail (see: "The Grudge"). It's the perfect American telling of this story.

I guess if you were to ask me personally which one I thought was scarier, I would have to say The Ring, simply because I saw it first. If I had seen Ringu first, I probably would've found it scarier. I've been watching films from different countries and cultures for years now so those differences in films because of culture isn't as relevant for me.

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